Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a disease caused by dysfunction of the valve between the esophagus and stomach.

If the valve does not function properly, stomach acid can flow back into the esophagus and cause damage to the esophageal lining.

GERD is common, affecting 1 in every 6 Canadian adults.1, 2 GERD is typically a very treatable disease, but many people do not know they have it because its symptoms are associated with numerous other conditions.


  • Chronic heartburn

  • Regurgitation

  • Chest pain or discomfort

  • Chronic cough, sore throat and/or hoarseness

  • Sleeping disturbances and nighttime symptoms

  • Belching, gas and bloating

  • Nausea

  • Intolerance of certain foods

When diagnosis and treatment are delayed, chronic GERD can increase the risk for serious health complications, including Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.5 Up to 15% of Causcasian men over the age of 50 who have chronic reflux will develop Barrett’s esophagus.6

If you or a loved one experience worrisome symptoms, talk to your physician.

Next: Diagnosing GERD


1. Fedorak et al, Canadian Digestive Health Foundation Public Impact Series: Gastroesophageal reflux disease in Canada: Incidence, prevalence, and direct and indirect economic impact, Can J Gastrolenterol 2010; 24(7):431-434

2. Vakil et al, The Montreal Definition and Classificatio of Gastroesophegeal Reflux Disease: A Global Evidence-Based Consensus, Am J Gastroenterol 2006; 101:1900-1920

3. GERD Symptoms: Typical and Atypical. Accessed on January 4, 2017.

4. What are the symptoms of GER and GERD? Accessed on January 4, 2017.

5. Dymedex Market Development Consulting, GERD Sizing and Segmentation for pH Testing. February 13, 2015.

6. American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy,